Thursday, October 9, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Indiana Jones Revival Arriving on DVD

The good news is that Harrison Ford is up to the challenge of his physically-demanding role as Indiana Jones after a 19-year hiatus. However, the production is slightly lacking in terms of generating a certain intangible called movie magic. Maybe the problem lies with the fact that the film will automatically be measured against the storied franchise’s earlier installments.
Gone is that palpable sense of urgency which glued you to the edge of your seat, a failing perhaps due to an increased dependency on computer-generated imagery. So, instead of performing stunts, Ford spends his time faking it in front of a blue screen, although still sporting his trademark whip and fedora.
The story unfolds in 1957 in the Nevada desert where we learn that Indy has been kidnapped by Russian spies led by the steely Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). Tied up in the trunk of a car, he’s driven to a secret U.S. Air Force base rumored to be holding the mummified remains of a Martian. This is of interest to the KGB which wants the alien’s corpse, for legend has it that it might contain the mysterious Crystal Skull, an ancient artifact said to be capable of unlocking limitless powers.
Of course, ingenious Indy escapes from his captors in spectacular fashion and the race is on to find the priceless icon. Along the way, he teams up with Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), a Harley-riding, rebel, and with Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), an old flame he hasn’t seen since he was looking for the Lost Ark.
The ensuing expedition to the jungles of Peru is less edgy and dangerous than comfy and nostalgic. Just thank your lucky stars that Harrison Ford still has the charisma to reinvent one of the most-beloved characters in screen history.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence and frightening images.
Running time: 124 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: A dozen featurettes, plus several galleries.

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